DECA students still compete in states with new format

DECA+State+plaques+from+last+year+for+Career+Development+Conference.

Kendyl Stelter

DECA State plaques from last year for Career Development Conference.

DECA states are right around the corner taking place on March 8-12.
This year is the first time DECA has ever competed virtually. To help keep everything flowing easy and organized, they have set it up so it’s broken up over four days and different categories will compete on different days.
Everyone is going to compete in school in a quiet space on their Chromebook as they did for DECA districts.
To prepare for states many of the students that are doing projects will go in the hallway during their marketing period and practice presenting their project.
“Most of the Seniors and Juniors with projects have been working on their own during my class period and rehearsing their presentation and they feel like they have a lot more time to prepare.” Cumiskey said.
For students that are doing role-plays, they have to practice role-plays online that they can practice with anytime they want.
“I think since the students have already done districts virtually they feel a little more comfortable with it,”Head of DECA at Wyandotte Elissa Cumiskey said.
Cumiskey thinks that through everything doing virtual has benefits because students get less nervous talking to strangers since you’re through a screen.
Sophomore Javarri Watts, who competes roleplays in Business Service Management, feels that doing online states is going to be difficult because it isn’t the same experience face to face.
“Sometimes it gets difficult because I am always worried that my internet will cut out and in districts, my judge cuts out and I couldn’t hear her when she was asking me questions and it overall gets stressful,” Watts said.
On the other hand, many students see competing virtually as a positive because they feel less nervous and feel like they have more time to prepare themselves.
“This was my first year of DECA and I was super nervous but after I was done it was not that bad because I was in the comfort of my own home and had all my resources right next to me,” Sophomore Mariah Vargas who competes in the Restaurant’s Service Management said.
All students that are competing will have to wear their dress attire and look professional on March 8-12, depending on what event they are in.
“Overall I am excited but nervous for states because I have never been to states before and it’s tough that my first time has to be online because I feel like I have no experience or what to expect,” Watts said.
The opinions about DECA states being virtual are split and overall have mixed feelings.
“For DECA states this year I am not that nervous because I know I only have to talk to them through a screen and I feel like it isn’t as stressful as it would be in person,” Vargas said.
This year is also different because usually if you make it to states for DECA you would travel out of the state.
In previous years they have traveled to Tennessee, Florida, California, and more but this year due to Covid they can’t travel.
“My overall opinion about DECA states virtually is unfortunate because the experience is much better face-to-face but for what it’s worth, I think it is effective, and it will still work and the best kids will still stand out just as they would if they were doing it in person,” Cumiskey said.